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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington



It is our responsibility to ensure every child in the United States has access to a high-quality education, regardless of their income or zip code. In classrooms throughout the First Congressional District and across Washington state, teachers and administrators are doing incredible work to educate our kids and prepare them to succeed after graduation. However, Congress must do more to support these efforts and ensure that federal education policies are working for Washington’s students, educators, and school districts.

To guarantee that all students are given an opportunity to succeed, I believe we need to replace No Child Left Behind (NCLB) with a system that maintains high standards for student achievement but provides states and districts with the tools and flexibility they need to help all kids reach their full potential. By doing so, we can help close the achievement gap and ensure that all high school graduates are college and career-ready.

At the same time, we must increase our nation’s investment in early learning programs, public universities, and career and technical education programs, in order to ensure that every American has access to educational opportunity. We also need to do more to support STEM education, as well as student innovation and creativity, in our schools.

One of my top priorities in Congress is to make college more affordable for all Americans. The rising cost of higher education in the United States continues to pose serious challenges to millions of middle-class students and their families, who are being forced to take out higher loan amounts to pay for tuition, fees, textbooks, and housing. That’s why I am fighting to keep student loan interest rates as low as possible, strengthen the Pell Grant program and other forms of student aid, lower the cost of college textbooks and supplies, and reduce the burden of student debt by allowing borrowers to refinance at today’s lower rates.

While I continue working with my colleagues to support each of these goals, here’s some information on the progress that we’ve already made:

  • Prevented the Doubling of Student Loan Interest Rates.  In 2013, I helped roll back the doubling of student loan interest rates, which were hiked from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on July 1 of that year. I was an original cosponsor of legislation that would have maintained low interest rates through 2015 and I ultimately joined with both Democrats and Republicans in support of a long-term compromise bill (Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, Public Law 113-28) that provided immediate relief to millions of students and their families.
  • Increased Funding for Internet Access and Wi-Fi in Schools.  I helped lead the effort in Congress to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize and improve the federal E-rate program, which provides discounts to schools and libraries for the cost of Internet and telecommunications services. As a result of this effort, the FCC increased funding for E-rate by $1.5 billion per year to help schools deploy increased Internet bandwidth and Wi-Fi in every classroom during the next five years.
  • Secured Funding for Schools in the Aftermath of the SR-530 Mudslide.  The Darrington and Arlington school districts faced a number of additional costs to keep schools running in the aftermath of the State Route 530 mudslide on March 22, 2014. I helped secure thousands of dollars in federal grant funds to reimburse the districts for costs incurred during this tragedy, including transportation expenditures to ensure students could get to school and costs for substitute teachers to fill in for classroom staff who were unable to return to work.

More on Education

Mar 22, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wa.) this week introduced the Higher Education Loan Payments (HELP) for Students and Parents Act, bipartisan legislation that will make college more affordable by modernizing how the tax code treats employer contributions toward student loan repayment.
Mar 20, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. schools could receive additional resources to prevent mass shootings under bipartisan legislation led by Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and cosponsored by Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Mike Coffman (CO-06) and Susan Brooks (IN-05).
Mar 17, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01), hosted a pledge-signing event to promote anti-bullying tactics in American politics. They were joined by other members of the Washington State delegation including Representatives Adam Smith (WA-09) and Derek Kilmer (WA-06). Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) and Eric Swalwell (CA-15) also attended and spoke at the reception.    
Feb 12, 2017 In The News
It wasn’t a typical assignment, but Machias Elementary School sixth-grader Liv Harrison put her heart into it. “To someone special,” Liv wrote. She had decorated her pink construction-paper card with hearts and Cupid’s arrows. Benjamin Studley, a 37-year-old Navy veteran and former Machias Elementary Bobcat, was on a mission when he visited his alma mater Thursday. As Liv, her classmates and other students created cards, Studley made his rounds at the Snohomish district school. He was there as part of a Valentines for Veterans effort.
Feb 11, 2017 Press Release
BOTHELL – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today visited a local VA hospital to drop off hundreds of valentines made by First District students. Valentines for Veterans is a program that encourages the community to recognize veterans throughout the year. See photos attached.
Jan 25, 2017 In The News
WASHINGTON — It was during the House special investigation into stem cell research that Democratic Rep. Suzan DelBene had had enough. Still in her second term at the time of the September hearing, the Washington state congresswoman was mercilessly excoriating her Republican colleagues’ decision to investigate fetal tissue science, an effort she saw as a shameful attempt to harass those engaged in medical research. “As someone who started her career in biomedical research, I’m deeply disappointed to see the impact this panel is already having,” she said.
Dec 16, 2016 In The News
Rep. Suzan DelBene (D) from Washington’s 1st Congressional District spent the morning of Dec. 19 in an eighth-grade classroom at Stella Schola Middle School in Redmond. DelBene co-taught a physics lesson with teacher Brigitte Tennis. Click here for the full story.
Dec 5, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today marked the start of Computer Science Education Week, which provides students with computer science education opportunities, such as the Hour of Code.
Nov 2, 2016 Press Release
MONROE – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today visited a local elementary school classroom, as part of the Choose My Plate program to teach students about the variety of healthy foods grown nearby. DelBene spoke with two fourth grade classrooms about the importance of eating local, healthy foods.
Oct 11, 2016 Press Release
WOODINVILLE – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today visited local science classes to mark Ada Lovelace Day, which celebrates the contribution women have made to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). DelBene spoke with two 6th grade classes at Hollywood Hill Elementary about the importance of science and technology. One of the classes was working on robotics, while the other was working with technology to detect viruses and germs.